Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ordinary Miracle

I was making dinner the other night and Oprah was on in the other room. Troy was outside chopping more wood for the fire, Garrett was balanced on my left hip. Beck was helping Troy and Oliver was lazing in front of the fire. At the end of the episode, Sarah McLachlan sang Ordinary Miracle from Charlotte's Web. In the middle of the song I walked out to really listen and that's when it hit me. Garrett is my ordinary miracle. I've become obsessed with the song. Troy never doubted that we'd have a biological child, he just thought we'd be blessed with an adopted child first and somewhere down the line we'd have a biological one. I, on the other hand, truly believed that adoption was the single method by which our children would be obtained. I was in (good) denial for about half of my pregnancy. To be truthful, I am still slightly in denial. Sometimes I look down at the baby sleeping my arms or giggling on the floor and I literally feel the need to pinch myself. Babies are ordinary. Women in every city of every country on every continent grow them like it's the easiest thing in the world. There's nothing unique about an individual's ability to procreate. But every baby, and especially the baby of the once infertile, is miraculous. The words to my son's theme song are listed below…

It's not that unusual

When everything is beautiful

It's just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when it's time to snow

Don't need to teach a seed to grow

It's just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say

Wrapped up for you everyday

Open up and find a way

To give some of your all

Isn't it remarkable

Like every time a raindrop falls

It's just another ordinary miracle today

Birds in winter have their fling

They always make it home by spring

It's just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday

Please don't throw your dreams away

Hold them close to your heart

Because we are all a part of the ordinary miracle

Ordinary miracle

Do you wanna see a miracle?

It seems so exceptional

When things just work out after all

It's just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright

And disappears again at night

It's just another ordinary miracle today

Thursday, December 7, 2006

December 7

December 7 is a good day for our family.

Four years ago today I started dating Troy.

One year ago today, I found out that I was pregnant with Garrett. It is incredible how much changes in just 365 days. I can't believe that in 525,600 minutes this little boy has gone from a bean shaped heartbeat to a laughing, wiggling, tiny human. And then people have the audacity to even so much as mumble that there is no God. I beg to differ.

Dear God,

Thank you so much for giving me Troy four years ago, words cannot describe the blessing he has been. And thank you for letting Garrett be a part of my life for the past year. His presence is nothing short of miraculous. Amen.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner

Earlier in the week, the doctor gave us the green light for starting solids. We decided to wait until today and let Garrett have a little holiday snack. So, around noon, we put him in the high chair, gave him a spoon of his own to hold on to (because I've heard that these things encourage good table manners) and busted out the rice cereal. The verdict is in. Garrett is a food loving hog. Of course, the first bite came back out all over his face. However, once he realized that it was intended to be swallowed, he started opening his mouth up like a little bird, just waiting for the next blessed bite. Apparently, like his mother, he's just a little more than slightly fond of food.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Partnership (or...maybe...not)

MR. CRUISE: Hey, chick from Dawson's Creek, can I dance on Oprah's couch whilst confessing my undying love? And then will you have my baby?


MR. CRUISE: Silently and without an Epidural?



GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: Okay. But, can I please have the Epidural? Please?

MR. CRUISE: I guess.

GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: Then, I guess. Sure.

MR. CRUISE: Did you say Suri? (PAUSE) Excellent name. Let's use it.


MR. CRUISE: Exactly.

GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: Um, ok. But just so you know, I'm Catholic.

MR. CRUISE: You're a Scientologist now.




MR. CRUISE: Oh, by the way, you go by Kate now. It sounds much more sophisticated than Katie.

GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: But I've always been Katie.

MR. CRUISE: You've also always been Catholic and we've taken care of that little problem. Now you are Kate.


MR. CRUISE: Here is your wedding dress, I've had it designed especially for you.

GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: Oh...really...see...I...kinda...always wanted to pick out my own dress.

MR. CRUISE: Oh, well, it's been done. Now you can spend all of your time brushing our daughter's hair instead of looking for wedding dresses.

GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: But (PAUSE) that (PAUSE) was (PAUSE) really (PAUSE) important (PAUSE) to (PAUSE) me.

MR. CRUISE: (PETTING HER HEAD) There, there. (PAUSE) Now, I know that you wanted some Catholic traditions in our wedding but I've taken it upon myself to write a strictly scientologist ceremony. Boy. I bet your folks are going to be pretty mad.

GIRL FROM DAWSON'S CREEK: But, I thought we agreed that a combination of Catholicism and Scientology would be good.

MR. CRUISE: Oh yah. We did. But um...I AM Tom Cruise and you ARE just that girl from Dawson's Creek.

Sunday, November 5, 2006


You do really weird things when you have a baby. For example, who woulda known a year ago that I'd be sitting in my office holding my almost four month old and saying over and over again in a really high pitched voice, "Hercules. Hercules. Hercules. Hercules." You see last night they said something about him on television and I bounced a crying Garrett on my hip and said, "Hercules" in a really high pitch. He immediately stopped crying and gave me a huge grin. Now, every time I do it, he flashes a giant smile and darn near cackles. Which, in turn, makes me do it over and over and over and over. Sometimes life doesn't need to be complicated.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I had a slumber party with my mom on Friday night. It was the weekend of men's retreat and both of our husbands were away. We decided to order pizza and rent a movie and not think about how the boogie man could get us because Troy and Dad weren't there to bash him over the head with a baseball bat, or, in Troy's case, the sword he keeps next to his side of the bed. The boogie man's gun has nothing on that sword or the medieval knight who is wielding it. I'm not sure it can be called a slumber party given the fact that my mother was in her bed, I was in the guest room, my infant son was in the pack 'n play in the office, and there was no prank calling involved, but I like to think of it that way. After our movie, I turned in for the night. As I was settling down in the guest room I glanced up at the ceiling and a few, bright, specks caught my eye. Wayward stars left over from my early teenage years, when the guest room wasn't a guest room at all but the place where a little girl had grown up. I laid awake for awhile thinking about those stars and all the changing I had done in that room and all the dreams that had come true and how it was comforting in a nostalgic way that my parents had left a few up as tribute to the daughter who had more or less spread her wings and hovered. I hope they think I'm flying but I try to use the wind under me to its full potential and allow it to maintain an optimum level of floating. The next morning I found out that the little stars had merely evaded my father's putty knife. They aren't supposed to be there at all, it's just impossible to see them in the daylight and who wants to stand on a ladder in the middle of the night to scrape them off? It's okay that my nostalgic fantasy was shattered, God must have given me a double dose of "reminisce" and I don't expect the rest of the world to meet my quota.

As I lay there, though, contemplating the stars, I realized that I forgot to remember what I swore I'd never forget. Of course I remember Christmas morning and Fourth of July parades and Halloween costumes. But I can't remember a single pancake breakfast in my pajamas. And because I know there were many, I am disturbed by this. I remember the last night I slept in that bedroom before I got married but I can't remember the night before that or the night before that and I certainly can't remember the night before I went to college even though that was the last night that it was really my room. I remember that my brother got older, just like I did. I forgot to recall what he was like as a little boy and if it weren't for pictures, I'd always think of him as a man pushing twenty-three. I don't like thinking of my brother as a man. Part of me wants him to be seven. I forgot to remember the smells of dinner cooking when dinner was still something that magically appeared in front of me and I did nothing to prepare it. Of course, I remember alot. But it's the memories just beyond the reach of my fingertips that I miss. Truthfully, I forgot the stars. They were banished to a part of my brain seldom used, a storage bin where I've also placed the Pythagorean Theorem and how to make those paper snowflakes. And when I looked up and saw them, a sense of peace washed over me that at least, if I forgot to remember things, the stars and consequently, the walls of that room, reminisce. So Mom and Dad, if you read this, if it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to leave those stars on my ceiling...or rather, the ceiling of your guest room, it would mean alot to me. Oh and also, please never sell the house. But move with me if I move. And bring my brother too. Those are my requests. And thank you, all of you, for all the things you help me to remember.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


It's official. I'm a mother. Here's what I did between 4 am and 2 pm today.

4:00-4:20: Garrett cries. I get up and feed him. Includes diaper change. Put him back down. We sleep.

7:00-7:30: Garrett cries. I get up and feed him. Throw on some walking clothes.

7:30-7:35: Change Garrett. Includes diaper and clothes.

7:35-7:45: Sort and start a load of laundry.

7:45-7:50: Get Garrett ready to go for a walk.

7:50-8:20: Take a walk with Garrett and Beck.

8:20-8:22: Start watering the lawn.

8:22-8:27: Put laundry in dryer.

8:27-8:40: Shower and get dressed.

8:40-9:20: Write out guidelines for Production Review for Advanced Drama. (Garrett was napping)

9:20-9:30: Garrett wakes up. Walk around bouncing him for a few minutes.

9:30-10:13: Attempt to fold laundry while keeping Garrett entertained.

10:13-10:43: Feed Garrett.

10:36-10:45: Talk to Carol on the phone. Agree to be an honorary member of Three for the Show at women's retreat in March.

10:45-10:49: Change Garrett's blow out diaper that he created while I was on the phone with Carol.

10:49-10:55: Check email and myspace.

10:55-11:30: Make grocery list. Look through coupons.

11:30-12:32: Grocery shopping.

12:32-12:56: Put away groceries. Wash off eggs because one cracked on the drive home and slimed the rest. Put Garrett's pacifier in three hundred times so that I could have two hands for putting away groceries.

12:56-1:02: Change Garrett. Talk goofy to him on the changing table because it makes him grin and cackle.

1:02-2:00: Feed Garrett. Hold Garrett. Bounce Garrett. All the while making lesson plans and prepping for my class tomorrow.

2:00: Garrett falls asleep. I watch a little bit of the Padres getting beat while he naps in my arms.

I think I got alot accomplished in a short period of time. Indeed. I changed more diapers than that too. He soils himself alot.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Giants in the Sky

There are giants in the sky. There are big tall terrible giants in the sky.When you're way up high and you look below at the world you left and the things you know, little more than a glance is enough to show you just how small you are...

It's true. I'm not a fan of Into the Woods. I had a bad experience. I pretty much hate the fact that it should be over at intermission and isn't. I hate most of the songs. It's not that I can do better, Sondheim, because clearly I can't. So don't think that's what I'm saying. I hate the princes. I hate Agony. I hate the Baker, but that topic probably ought to be reserved for a therapy session somewhere down the road. Sometime when I drudge up misplaced and unadulterated loathing. And I hate fishing line and actors who flip out at stage crew when their props are missing. But aside from hating Into the Woods, I appreciate it on the grandoise level that Broadway demands. Which is why I find it humorous that middle schools attempt such a show. And why, when my students suggested that we take it on (not this side of Hades, guys, we'd only embarrass ourselves, I promise) I nearly choked on my own tongue. But it's got me thinking. It's got me thinking about Milky White. Man I loved that cow. Another topic for therapy I suppose. I loved Kristin in the giant Peep dress because it was like when you dress a tomboy up on Easter and make them wear a bonnet. Not that Kristin is a tomboy at all and not that there was a bonnet but you'd know what I mean if you saw the dress. I think, perhaps, the Queen of England would have looked like a tomboy in it. And I love Giants in the Sky. Probably because I love Jack. Probably because I love Matt. Not in a "let's get married even though we both already are and have three sons between the two of us" kind of way, more in a "because I knew you, I have been blessed" kind of way. But I really, really did love Giants in the Sky. And I still do. And it's kind of how I feel right now.

It's kind of like I realize now how idealistic we all are in high school. I'm still idealistic. I'm just not that idealistic. And it's kind of like I'm up in that sky. And it's kind of like I'm looking down. And it's kind of like just a glance...a seven year glance since high enough to show me just how small I am. I'm not the next star. I am just a dime a dozen. What my degree has gotten me is a handful of high schoolers as idealistic as I once was...perhaps more so. But I'm just glad to have the opportunity to direct their idealism, because that's more than most people get to do in the theatre. (I'm just, not going to direct Into the all)

And the thing is...I'm not even sure I would want it anymore. Sure the money would be swell and sure I wouldn't turn down the notoriety but I've been to New York. And I've been to LA. And I've seen the hollow eyes with the blank stares of the ones who want it so bad that they can't make friends with the ones they plan to step on. And I've seen the twinkling eyes of my son. And I wouldn't trade him for a world of fame and fortune. Not for a second. But still, I guess a part of me wishes I could live in between. In between the idealism and the cynicism. In between the way I was and the way I am. In between the hope of my youth and the hope of my son's. Somewhere in the world I never thought to explore.

...The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore. And you think of all of the things you've seen, and you wish that you could live in between, and you're back again, only different than before, after the sky. There are Giants in the sky! There are big tall terrible awesome scary wonderful Giants in the sky!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cleaning and Scrubbing

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow

For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow

So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep

I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep

When I was a kid, my mom had a wall hanging with the above poem on it. Sometimes I would find myself staring at the woman who sits next to the words. She's rocking her baby. She's my mom. I can tell by her hair, if nothing else. Even as a small child I somehow understood the sentiment of the poem. I think, however, that I only comprehended it from the baby's side of things. Chores, homework, bathing. These things were not important. No. What was important were family vacations, gathering around the dinner table, playing games together. The dust could sleep. I didn't care. I was growing up and I was being rocked.

My mom loaned the wall hanging to me and it now hangs above my son's crib. I get it. From the mom's point of view. I think my house has been cleaned...I mean really cleaned...once in the past eight weeks. And 75 percent of that was thanks to my husband. The only chore I perform on a consistent basis is laundry and that's because my son spits up on everything in sight and he'd be perpetually naked if I didn't wash his clothes...three times a week. I get it. The house needs to be deep cleaned before we all inhale those cobwebs and sleeping dust. Yet, instead of scrubbing, Garrett took a nap on my chest. Instead of cleaning, we took the dog for a walk. While the cobwebs quieted down, I got the baby dressed and was distracted by his giant smiles for longer than just a couple of minutes. And while the dust took a nap, I decided to write this. I could be cleaning. I could be scrubbing. Garrett is asleep in the stroller (exhausted from learning how to walk the dog) so I should capitalize on such a fortuitous situation. But I'm not. I'm writing. Because one day all of this will be a distant memory. One day I will dust away the cobwebs in my memory and only be able to catch a glimpse of what Garrett was like as an eight week old boy. So I choose to write. I choose to remember, because my baby won't keep. And from somewhere just beyond the room I'm in, he has started to cry, as if to put a period on the end of my memory. These are the fleeting days and so, I will dust tomorrow.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Bath Time

There was a time when I wanted, desperately, to be a star. Christmas was my favorite time of year followed closely by the Oscars. And when it came time, again, for award shows, the red carpet was my favorite time of day. I watched the ceremonies with a certain degree of envy and a certain degree of dillusions big enough to believe that maybe one day it would be me. I'd be the one in Vera Wang and flawless make-up with her hair all done up. I'd flash a smile and gaze at the camera with these eyes that I've decided are famously brown and altogether mysterious. Maybe I still watch them with some of those grandiose dreams.

But my favorite time of day is bath time. It only takes a few minutes because he's still so small, but it's the best time. There's kicking and grinning and soaping and splashing. Because at seven weeks he already knows what every baby learns, bath time is magical. It's when I sit with him, giving him my complete and undivided attention. Undistracted by anything because if I get distracted, he drowns. And, that's, quite frankly, not an option. So I sit with him. And Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore, his bath time friends, come out to play. Together we sing him the ABC's and Tigger gets stuck on "T" because he's altogether too excited to finish. It's always the same old thing with Tigger. "Q, R, S, T...hmmm, T stands for Tigger. That's me. The wonderful thing about Tigger's is Tigger's are wonderful things..." Eeyore gets mad and starts complaining and Pooh tries to keep the peace. And if it wasn't for Pooh and Eeyore we'd never get to Z. But thankfully, we eventually do. And the four of us ask Garrett if next time he'll sing with us. Garrett opens his eyes wide and looks at us like we're nuts. For the most part we are. But still, despite having a crazy mother, he gets clean. I lift him out and snuggle him tight in his towel. And his mostly-bald head smells like Johnson & Johnson's and I take notice and sniff. Because when he's 16 he won't smell like that and he probably won't like it if I sniff his head.

Somewhere behind these eyes is a glimpse of what fame might look like, but I am not famous. It doesn't matter. It doesn't make one bit of difference. Because I have bath time.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Today I went to school. And I wasn't a student. And it was kind of weird, but good. And I tried to be "business." But I think maybe I was more "art girl meets black sandals because she doesn't know if it's professional to wear flip flops." And I put my foot in my mouth with some line about how Garrett was important because he took nine months to make. Which, after the snickers, I followed up with something horrendous that sounded something like, "Well, that's not what I meant. He only really took a second." Because I was talking about science. But my perverted high school class only thought of one thing and started telling me they felt sorry for me and oh my poor husband and blah blah blah. So yah. I'm probably going to be asked never to return. I'm probably fired. Most likely.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Im not one of those mothers who said that when her baby was born she instantly felt this overwhelming matchless love. Thats not to say that I wouldnt throw myself under an oncoming bus to save him or that I dont love him more than life itself. Its just to say that I felt that tremendous unparalleled love when I first learned that he was growing inside me. When I first saw the positive pregnancy test I was wracked with an emotion I almost cannot express. Despite the fact that I was in denial for weeks, how could this finally be happening, I felt the most amazing adoration swelling inside my heart. It was a love unlike any other, tainted by fear that this, too, would end in heartache, flanked by relief, swollen with joy and filled with pride. I didnt even know his name. I didnt need to. Just knowing that he existed, buried deep inside me was enough. I didnt need to give birth to him to realize that matchless love. I knew it when I saw him sucking his thumb on the ultrasound, when I felt those initial bubbles that became violent wiggles by the third trimester and when I first saw his heart, taking up most of his teeny, tiny body, beating fiercely on the screen. I knew that devotion when I saw the positive test. Deep down, somewhere within my subconscious, I think I even knew it during all those months of infertility and when, at last, I thought my firstborn would come through someone else and be given, miraculously to me through adoption. When my heart was waiting for him, I knew. I knew it when I was afraid and I knew it when I was so numb that fear was absent.
And because I prayed through my anguish and my pain and my fear, carrying him began to feel like a little bit of heaven. It was a secret paradise, a hope that only I had access to. Of course I love his ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes more nownow that they belong to a face and a name, but sometimes I almost think that I have dreamed him into existence. And sometimes, when I remember them putting his warm, fresh body on my chest, I feel terrible that I didnt have that initial, overwhelming wave that I hear every mother talk about. Doubt crowds my memory and I find myself wondering if I am a bad mother because my heart wasnt swelling to hefty proportions as he stared at me, seeing life for the first time. But I remind myself that ours was a different journey. And as he peered, intently, into my eyes, I stared back into his. But I wasnt seeing him for the first time. Because in those eyes was every prayer answered, every tear nullified, every wish granted. And the love I felt for him wasnt overwhelming. It was comfortable. It had always been, at least, for as long as I could remember. As he gazed at me, I stared back. Our eyes met, and they told our story.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Third Anniversary

Third Anniversary
Today is my third anniversary. My wedding seems like it was yesterday and like it was fifty years ago all at the same time. It feels like I can remember every detail and yet every detail seems to blur into a whirl of dancing and dreaming and toasting and laughing and vowing to be there--through it all. I know that "it all" is yet to come. We'll have heartache that will put any previously experienced heartache to shame. We'll look back on any pain we've been in thus far and laugh. And hopefully through the real pain, the real suffering, the reality that one of us will bury the other, we'll stand strong. All I know is that I love my husband 45 billion times more than I did the day I married him. And, as he coached me through the birth of our son, I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that my love for him was returned. Because he looked at me like I was his hero for bringing Garrett into the world. And as I sit here and write, with my three week old on my lap, I know that it just might not get better than this. It might not get better than the real-life-fireworks-exploding-just-like-in-the-movies-love that I share with my spouse. It might not ever get better than this little tiny family I have for myself. And if this is as good as it gets, I have been incredibly blessed.

Friday, July 28, 2006

One Week

Garrett was one week old yesterday and already I find myself contemplating how time flies by so quickly. I know that when he cries, if I take to long to go get him, by the time I get to his room, he'll be 18. I blinked and a week went by. A few more and he'll be in middle school and then college. I already want those days back. I want to recapture what it was like when he was put on my chest. I want to go back and savor those first few hours. I want to look at him, nonstop, for the rest of my life because I don't want to accidentally miss any of his.I'm convinced that it's physically and emotionally impossible to look down at him, wiggling on my lap, intermittently hiccupping, and not believe that there is a God. I mean, I love my husband and I happen to think I'm a pretty creative person, but there is no way we did this on our own. He's much too precious and he smells too much like innocence and dreams. God did this. We had nothing to do with it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Son Is Here

Garrett John is here! He was born on Thursday evening (July 20) at 7:30. He weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. He's a pretty good far. It took him a full 24 hours to really find his lungs. I mean, he had them when the pediatric nurse was assessing him but then he forgot about them. Now he knows where they are and how to use much so that he is hoarse. But actually, he doesn't cry often and when he does it's during the day which is great. If he continues to be as great as he has been at night I won't have much to complain about.
Labor Alright so, I was induced on Wednesday night at 6:30 because an ultrasound showed that he was possibly a little IUGR (growth restricted) and that maybe we should have him come and eat something. Because my body was NOT ready to be in labor I had to have a medication that would start things moving. So...for the first TWELVE hours I pretty much just laid there in mild pain. At 8:30 am on Thursday morning they broke my water. At noon I was still only dilated to 2. And at this point I'd been laboring for almost 18 hours and about five of those had been no fun at all. So they decided to give me pitocin to make me dilate faster. But praise the Lord and the maker of the epidural...they allowed me to have that first even though I was only at 2. The pitocin worked its magic and I felt fine. It was actually kind of fun to watch the contractions raging on the machine and laugh at them. At 6:30 I was at 10 and the baby was ready to be born. I pushed for an hour and though it was really exhausting it was also really awesome because it was fairly pain free and it's just really cool to see your child being born.
When he was born they laid him on me and it was just so amazing. Troy was a champion too because it took a long time...25 hours is a long time...and he was tired but when it came time to get Garrett out, he was as helpful as any husband could be. I think he'd say I did pretty well too since I only snapped at him once. And that had something to do with my oxygen mask (at one point Garrett's heart rate dropped slightly and they put me on oxygen) getting caught on my ear or something or other. I don't remember exactly but I apologized so he can't hold it against me. Not that he would since I was actively bringing our firstborn into the world.
Alright...I could talk about it forever. I could talk about our very nice roommates in postpartum who we liked but who snored in alternating breaths and whose baby had a fever and shrieked often. I could talk about how said snoring Dad sang the baby a little ditty that never varied and went like this, "Daddy loves his Abby. Daddy loves his little Abigail. Daddy's baby. Yes. Daddy's little Abby," over and over and over and over. No but really, we liked them. I could talk about how awesome it was to have my doctor for the first part of my labor and the most awesome midwife for the second part and the delivery. I could talk about how my nurses were great but the nurse who was there when he was born was just the greatest nurse I could have asked for. I could talk about how amazing it was to have this little boy laying on my chest, staring at me with these huge eyes like he's known me forever and yet doesn't know me at all. Oh wait...I am talking about all of this. And I should be sleeping. I should be sleeping because Garrett is sleeping. More to come because I will never...ever...shut up about this child.
P.S. Maybe you should delete me from your blog subscriptions. Trust're going to get very, very sick of me.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fish Frenzy

I've had my hair done by the same woman since I was seven years old. When she retires or I relocate I don't know what I'll do. But that's not the point. The point is, she's a very nice person. She does those shampoo and curl kind of things on old ladies and often she picks them up and takes them home. Well, I got my hair cut last week and while I was there she was simultaneously working on a couple of blue haired ladies. One of them needed a ride home. She also needed her bubble slightly adjusted. She was just a trace off center, if you ask me. Now, when Nancy, my hair stylist, informed "little old lady" that she would take her home just as soon as she finished with me, "little old lady" replied that she just needed to make sure she ate something soon. Nice Nancy kindly offered her a yogurt.
A what?
A yogurt.
A what?
A yogurt.
What's in that?
It's a dairy product. Milk, cream, fruit. Would you like one?
Oh ok. Yes. Just as long as there isn't any fish in it.
It is as this point that I literally snicker. And I'm right next to this woman. So I cover it up by saying, "That would be one interesting yogurt." And thus, I have been thinking of rejected yogurt flavors. With "Fish Frenzy" as the definite ring leader.
1. Fish Frenzy
2. Meatloaf
3. Veal Parmigiana
4. Bubble Gum Surprise
5. Pickle
Please, by all means, add to my list.

Monday, July 3, 2006

The End Is In Sight

The baby is due in 23 days. What this means is that, in less than a month, there will be another human being living here. Breathing here. Eating here. Bathing here. Pooping here. Being pregnant is kind of like being in college. You start in August and May just seems so far away. Yet, before you know it you've got a huge pile of work to crawl out from under and a whole bunch of finals to study for. You can see the summer...the promised land...calling from just beyond your last test. It's like that now. The summer is calling but, uh, there's going to be some turmoil first. A little bit of stress. Three weeks ago my play was finished. It was almost Father's Day. That doesn't seem so long ago. And so, in the waiting I start to panic. What if I can't figure out how to give it a bath? It doesn't matter that I've bathed bunches of babies before...I've never tried to clean my own. What if I can't figure out how to feed it. It doesn't matter that I've fed bunches of babies before because I've never fed them in quite the same manner. What if it won't shut up? I can't just...give it back. Here God, this one cries alot. Can you give me the quiet version? He'll laugh and mutter something about paybacks I'm sure.
Okay, I'm not really that scared. To be honest. Childbirth has actually become something that I just want to get over with...not something I am dreading with every fiber of my being. And as far as feeding and bathing, I remind myself that dilinquent teenagers somehow manage to take care of their young, so certainly a college educated quasi-adult such as myself should be able to figure it all out. (Especially since I've been baby sitting since I was somewhere in the neighborhood of ten years old). It's just that...finally...the countdown is really on. As in, they won't stop my labor should it start.
In any case, the baby weighs approximately 5 pounds 10 ounces now...if sonograms are even slightly accurate. My bag is mostly packed--just in case I defy familial odds and the baby strikes early. The nursery is finished...except for one, small detail. And I'm ready for that detail. At least, as ready as can be anticipated.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The Good Samaritan

There were lightning riding hobbits and "Vote for Jenna" shirts. There were thugs and funny little green hats. There was a surfer/hippie/loser guy with a greasy long haired wig who happens to share my DNA. There was a stun gun which we have affectionately named The Raptor 100. And there was laughing. There might have been, kind of, alot of laughing. At parts I hoped were funny and at parts I really, honestly, never considered humorous. Front row dwelling cackle woman made sure to keep the guffaws coming as freely as drinks at an open bar. There wasn't an open bar. For obvious reasons.
I was getting a little worried there a few weeks ago. Turns out, it's not much easier to coordinate three adult, five high schoolers and one elementary schooler's schedule than it is to coordinate 25 kids in the Christmas pageant. You'd think it would be. But really, it's all dramatic, right down to the rehearsal schedule. But it came together. (Tell me, Thespis, how is it that since you first stepped out, plays have had a way of coming together?) It meshed during our trial run for the Sunday Schoolers. It melded even more in dress rehearsal. But, to be honest, nothing could have prepared me for the way my actors "brought it" at the performance.
I don't laugh. The lines just, cease being funny to me after so much work and so many rewrites. But the ad libs on Sunday night are what snuck up on me. I watched this thing that I created snake around on stage with a life entirely its own and wondered if that might be what it's like to have a child. To know that you brought it into existence but it now belongs to you no more than it belongs to them, or to the universe, for that matter.
I hope that someone, somewhere in the audience, was drawn closer to the Lord. I hope that through ditties and stage blood and zealous Christian females and nerds and cheerleaders, someone realized that being a believer doesn't mean we can't laugh. I hope someone, somewhere, is lead to Christ through comedy. If this is accomplished, I will be able to sleep more soundly at night. And Jared just might be able to pass ceramics.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mother's Day

So today I made a comment that it kind of stinks to have to use vacation time to give birth. I don't mind using it to be with the baby once s/he's here or to prepare for him/her before s/he gets here. I just don't think it's very vacationy to spring forth child from one's loins and I was laughing about how it won't technically be a "vacation." My co-worker gets a bit pissy, turns to my other co-worker and makes this huge deal about how a year ago I would have paid someone to let me have a baby and now I'm complaining about having to use vacation time and oh how things change and blah blah blah and it really bothered me. Because, a year ago I would have paid someone to give me a baby...and, in fact, paid Kaiser thousands of dollars for that very thing. (Unfortunately THEY didn't give me a baby in return). And I'm not COMPLAINING about it now. I was merely making what I assumed to be a rather humorous observation. I don't want people to think that I'm complaining just because I say that child birth doesn't seem like a picnic or I say I'm getting fat or that occasionally my back hurts. The truth is, I'd still pay to get this baby. I wouldn't give him/her up for anything in the world. I'll gladly use my vacation time--but I don't think it makes me a failure to all the infertile world if I don't call it a vacation. Am I crazy?
In addition, what constitutes being a mother? Because someone said to me today, "Next year you'll be a mom." I wasn't offended by the statement nor do I expect a gift or card in any way shape or form. In fact, when we celebrated mother's day with my husband's family and my father-in-law prayed and said, "Thank you for all the three mothers," I got terribly confused momentarily before I realized he was counting me. But, in all honesty, what makes a mother? A tangible baby that you can hold and kiss and that cries and poops, perhaps? Are you not a mother simply by carrying him/her around for nine months? Are you a mom when you watch the abdominal muscles that you worked for over a decade for stretch and shift and end, finally, in one large lump resembling a beer gut? Are you a mom when you're awake all night throwing up because of your child and your hormones, or only when you're awake all night because it's actually your child doing the throwing up? (I should make the disclaimer that my little angel never once made me throw up and I love him/her all the more for it...I'm merely trying to make a point). Are you a mother when you watch *almost* everything you put in your mouth so as not to gain an ounce over what the doctor recommends? Are you a mother when you cut caffeine out of your diet (alright, the occasional piece of chocolate doesn't count--my doctor said so) and stay away from sub sandwiches--which you happen to be moderately addicted to--because your baby can't fight listeria? Are you a mother when you worry or when you pray or when you watch an elbow flitter across your torso? Perhaps not in the way that my mother is a mother. I haven't laughed with my child. I haven't cried with her. I haven't kissed his boo boos or watched my husband give her away. I haven't watched cautiously as he climbed a tree or listened to the incessent giggling of her slumber party. I haven't sent him off to college. I haven't heard that tiny voice say mommy, yet. I haven't gotten a sticky kiss or had a little hand grasp my finger. But I have learned that on Sunday night, when Troy stands up to give his sermon, Garrett or Kate thinks it's playtime with Daddy and wiggles accordingly for the next 45 minutes. I know that my baby is, at this point, a night owl and not an early riser. I know s/he has a sweet cravings have seen to that. I don't know if she's a she or if he's a he. I don't know what color eyes s/he has or if s/he's bald. So, perhaps, I won't be a mother until next year...but, perhaps, I already am.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Why I Got An Education

Dear Elementary School,
Thank you so much for teaching me basic math skills. It might be one of my worst subjects, I might hate it, in fact, but thank you, nonetheless for saving me from dilinquency.

The following actually occured. I promise. My friend Joelle (of PLNU caf fame) came up to visit me yesterday and we had in the the Ramona Cafe. We got the exact same thing. The bill came to $13.47 and I approached the counter with my ten dollar bill and Joelle's two fives. I hand the money to the girl working the register and say, "There's fifteen for the bill and if I could get five ones with the other five please." Knowing full well that I cannot evenly split a five dollar bill between Joelle and myself.
Something about initially paying the bill is fundamentally complicated for this poor unfortunate soul because she yelps, "Oh shoot!" And then preceeds to ask me how much change she owes me. "Is it .43 cents?" She asks. I'm confused because I know she owes me a dollar and some change. Then I realize that she's got the dollar bill in her hand already so I say, "Oh. Yah." But I only say this because she's got me all backwards and sideways. Three seconds later I manage to say, "Oh no. Actually you owe me a dollar and 53 cents." This sends the poor girl into a total tailspin. I swear she didn't believe me but she finally decides to just part with her beloved dime. Why it wasn't showing up somewhere exactly what she owed me is actually beyond my comprehension but whatever. So...then...
She hands me six ones, my fifty-three cents, and my five dollar bill. And I consider keeping the five for a couple seconds. But, alas, it would be cursed money. I'd probably use it to buy gas and my car would explode or something. So I hand her back the five and say, "This is yours." Utter bafflement streaks across her angelic little face. "Is this for the tip?" She asks. Now I'm starting to get confused. Maybe she really does know what she's doing and I'm the moron. "No. I gave you a five and you gave me five ones." She stands there. Complete confusion. I turn and walk away. I sit back down and calculate the entire event in my mind, making sure I have the correct amount of money. Joelle promises me that I do.
"Hey, I think this is your tip." I hear her tell the waitress. "This girl just gave me this extra five dollar bill and I don't know what it's for." (And that was only the start of it. She ended up rehashing the entire event with the waitress and still not figuring out what the heck had happened).
Seriously. For real? I would have tried explaining it all again but I was laughing too hard.

Friday, March 3, 2006


I like poetry. And I write it. It is rubbish more times than it is not but isn't that always the case? Unless you're Plath? Anyway, I wrote this last July...on what turns out to be my baby's due date- (kind of. I sorta have two, depending on which medical professional you ask. The doctor says I am due on July 27. The ultrasound tech says July 29). It's been edited since, but I think it's pretty neat that I wrote it when I did.

In the waiting
I am learning to love you more
Than the breath that I breathe
as I gasp for air
Than the tears that I scream
as I shake with unanswered emptiness
Than the words that I strangle
In this place and in this time
I am dreaming
Of your face
And your smile
And your soul
And heart
That will come from me
But be inexpressibly you
In the waiting
I am learning to love you more
Gaining wisdom inside the
ominous fear of absence
Attempting to savor the ache
knowing this too shall pass
The breath will be breathed
Tears will be caught
The words will sound beautiful

(yah...that alien face that you see in the picture is my miracle)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Child Is Phenomenal

the following uses the alternating verbage of he and she, his and her for total gender inclusion.*
Alright, so my kid is awesome. Here's the thing...he may or may not actually be mine because, well, he kept trying to hide from the "camera" and, let's face it, I would never do such a thing. On the other hand, the way in which she dodged the "camera" was hysterical and while I told the ultrasound tech that I planned to discipline her for her bad behavior and general uncooperation, secretly I was laughing inside and thinking what a fantastic baby is actually growing inside me. The baby kept burying his head and once the ultrasound tech managed to sort of poke the head into position to take the "photograph" the baby would fling his hand up in front of his face.
Seriously, it's amazing and insane how much you can love this little alien looking person. And it's kind of easy to forget just how phenomenal it is that two people can create a life that becomes an entirely new and different and wonderful little being.